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Trump and Clinton Clash in Second Debate; How can the Republican Divide be Fixed; Alan Cumming on White House Race. Aired 11-11:30p ET
Aired October 10, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, after a menacing U.S. presidential debate, what now for a Republican Party in turmoil. Reaction
from the former presidential speechwriter David Frum.
And the star of the U.S. political drama series "The Good Wife," actor Alan Cumming weighs in on this race with his new book, "You've Got to Get Bigger
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN CUMMING, AUTHOR, "YOU'VE GOT TO GET BIGGER DREAMS": I'm just embarrassed. I'm so embarrassed that at this stage in a political
campaign, let alone a presidential campaign like a huge country like America, that genitalia groping and the size of a Miss Universe contestant
should be major discussion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
In a new development today, America's highest ranking Republican, the House Speaker Paul Ryan has finally thrown in the towel saying that he would no
longer defend Donald Trump's corner. But is he having his cake and eating it, too, because Ryan is still endorsing him?
Over the weekend, a long list of senior Republicans abandoned the G.O.P. candidate less than a month before the election. Last night, Trump and
Hillary Clinton squared off in their second debate. It was one of the most angry and bitter in American history. They didn't shake hands at the start
and it was downhill from there.
The aftermath of Trump's widely panned views on women per that leaked and lewd tape that happened on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the
American people. Certainly, I'm not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women,
what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it
represents exactly who he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So what's next for this race and for the G.O.P.? Full disclosure, my husband, the former Clinton administration official Jamie
Ruben is currently volunteering on Hillary Clinton's campaign. We both maintain scrupulous professional independence.
So with that, joining me now is David Frum, the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program, David.
DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So let me start by asking you, what did you make of Trump's appearance and performance last night? Did he stem the bleeding?
FRUM: No, no. Look, he was never going to win this election. The question we've always been arguing about the march, could he sustain
something more or less like a normal campaign despite his whole previous history of life. And thus deliver a more or less normal size American
political defeat, or would this be something much worse than that.
These words in his own voice about how he claims to treat women and the immunity he expects as a television star don't tell you anything new. But
you hear it in his own voice rather than people talking about him. So it's very powerful.
And it coincided with a collapse of support for him among important groups Republicans need to win, especially educated women.
I think the polls on that collapse were arriving at the end of the week. We now see the situation is in free-fall. Donald Trump is polling in the
mid-30s. He is approaching the worst two-way political defeat in American history. James Cox in 1920. He's sworn Harding up in the First World War,
in the middle of a wave of strife and terrorism inflation.
And what he used last night, this mode of aggression that got, you know, some attention from some commentators who like to see people mix it up on
TV, completely bypassed the people he needed to be talking to, which is moderate suburban women who are terrified of him.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, to break up some of that stuff because I talked about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan is the most senior elected Republican.
And he seems to be playing, you know, a tight rope act here. Is he?
What is his conundrum? Because, you know, the question is, how do you save the party by still backing this candidate? Can the two go together?
FRUM: I think Paul Ryan has an unsolvable problem. It's a problem of party management. And people are asking Paul Ryan to act like an
individual hero. But he is responsible for a group of -- for collectivity. The Republican caucus in the House.
[23:05:10] About two-thirds of Republican voters are going to stick with Donald Trump no matter what. And will probably be angry at any Republican
who breaks with Donald Trump.
But a quarter of Republican voters have broken with Donald Trump, and will be angry at anybody who stays loyal to him. That's not a fixable problem.
And so depending on which -- where your district is, if you're a Republican member of Congress, you either think, look, I don't like him,
but we have to stick by him or else my vote is a revolt.
Other people are saying, to save myself, I need to break from him. And Paul Ryan has to somehow manage both these groups within his caucus.
AMANPOUR: You know, Donald Trump, obviously, has been firing back at the list of Republican Congress people and senators who broke with him over the
He's basically been tweeting calling them, quote, "Self righteous hypocrites" and saying watch their polls and elections go down.
Is this a legitimate fear for Republicans? Or do you think the personality of Donald Trump is shining through and they can't afford to stick with him?
FRUM: Well, both of the things you said are right. It is both -- it's both something that the personality of Donald Trump is shining through.
It's been shining through for a long time. There's nothing here that people didn't know before.
At the same time when Republicans break with him, that really is dangerous. Because it depresses voter turnout. It causes infighting. In any army,
you suffer the most casualties once you're on the retreat, after the defeat. And that's where Republicans are now.
They are at a stage where the party is in retreat and people are turning on each other. There's terrible recrimination. And the task, you know, one
of the things when your setup situation, the thing that -- I mean, I find myself spending most of my energy thinking about is what comes after
FRUM: How do you reconstitute this party as a functioning force?
AMANPOUR: Well, that is the actual question because there has to be an opposition. There has to be two parties at least to buy and create
democracy. You can't just have one party. So what does actually happen in the aftermath? Is the party broken? Does the party split? Can the party
regroup in the aftermath of this?
FRUM: Well, the part is -- so long as we have the Electoral College and a presidentially-focused system, we will be a two-party and not a multi-party
system in the United States. That's just in the rules of the game that you have to be two parties. So, yes, the Republican Party will reorganize.
The question is, what -- how will it explain what went wrong? Some people will say we had a perfectly healthy party before Donald trump. He was a
freak accident and we need to get back to our core mission of cutting Medicare, cutting taxes and having more immigration.
My argument is that you need to learn from Donald Trump. That he identified important grievances, important parts of American society feel.
Now he offered obnoxious and self-destructive remedies. And he himself was an unfit person, but he saw something. And the task for Republicans is to
see what he saw and then to address it in a healthy and useful way, not in the poisonous way he's addressed it.
AMANPOUR: Well, that brings me to the next question because certain Republican intelligence -- I mean, the intellectuals of the party have come
out, people like Bob Kagan for instance came out in a very pointed article months ago saying that actually this is the Republican Party's fault. It
has so sort of gone off on some kind of tangent. And it has created, in his words, "Its own Frankenstein monster."
Do you buy that?
FRUM: I don't. And the reason I don't is I think whatever explanation you have of the Trump phenomenon has to begin by saying, this is the American
version of something we're seeing in almost every single developed country.
Similar things are going on in the UK, in France, in Germany, in Poland (INAUDIBLE). Canada doesn't seem to have it, but Australia does.
So you need an explanation that is common to all of those developed countries. Something is happening. Is the effect of mass migration,
stagnation of middle class wages, the distance between elites and voters, and it's a global phenomena. Trump is an extreme manifestation, but he's
not a unique manifestation.
AMANPOUR: I want to play you just a little bit of substance actually from the debate regarding Russia and the United States and Syria. Let me play
you what Donald Trump said and what Hillary said about this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS and Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up
because of our weak foreign policy.
CLINTON: Russia has decided that it's all in in Syria. And they've also decided who they want to see become president of the United States, too.
And it's not me. I've stood up to Russia. I've taken on Putin and others. And I would do that as president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: This plays right into the current drama between Russia and the United States.
What do you make of Russia's alleged involvement in all of this?
[23:10:10] FRUM: Well, Russia has penetrated many of these populous parties all over -- all over the world. We know they're on record as
having loaned millions of euros to the French National Fund.
A widespread suspicious that they are helping to finance the alternative for Germany. There are questions about Russia's role in Scottish politics.
They are certainly very active all over the former Warsaw Pact countries and Czech Republic and other places.
And there were ties between many of the people in the Donald Trump circle and Russian oligarchs and Ukrainian oligarchs.
They really seem to have form Trump's mind. I mean, this is an incredible thing for an American -- a Republican candidate to suggest that he wants to
line up with Russia, Syria and Iran and to say that as an endorsement.
At the same time, he criticizes the Iran deal. And yet Iran's most supreme foreign policy priority was not the nuclear deal as much as they like that.
But it was protecting the Assad regime. And on that, Trump is with them. Quite incredible.
AMANPOUR: It is extraordinary. And you did pick up on that line how he sort of align -- he seems to aligned himself in this sound bite with
precisely those actors that you mentioned.
David Frum, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
FRUM: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And so after a hard slog through that 90-minute debate, some light managed to break through the storm at the end as an audience members
asked the candidates to say something pleasant about each other.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted. And I think that says a lot about Donald. I don't agree with
nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that.
TRUMP: I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn't quit and she doesn't give up. And I consider that to
be a very good trait.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And even though they didn't shake hands at the beginning, they did at the end.
When we come back, they say that fact can often be stranger than fiction. Next, the reality check on this race from TV's political strategists, the
actor Alan Cumming. He talks Trump, Clinton and his new book "You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams." After this.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Now, from "Cabaret" on Broadway to "The Good Wife" on TV, the award-winning actor, Alan Cumming has long been
a familiar face on stage and screen, known for his sparkling personality and his haunting, revealing books, his latest, "You've Gotta Get Bigger
Dreams," provided the perfect spring board for our conversation about celebrity and real-life politics.
AMANPOUR: Alan Cumming, welcome to the program.
CUMMING: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you are the ultimate political strategist at least in your TV life and we are in the post-second debate mode.
Did you watch it?
CUMMING: I did. I did. I'm here in London. I set my alarm clock, I woke up and I watched it.
[23:15:13] AMANPOUR: And did you think it measured up to the fictional politics, or does it even exceed the plot lines that you can generate for
CUMMING: Well, I think the whole American campaign right now is way beyond any insane satirical plot line. I'm just embarrassed. I'm so embarrassed
that at this stage in a political campaign, let alone a presidential campaign for a huge country like America, that genitalia groping and the
size of a Miss Universe contestant should be major part of discussion.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, though, because it is relevant. It's obviously the reducto absurdum of our celebrity culture.
You've just written a book, "You've Got to Get Bigger Dreams." We'll talk about that in a second. But it is all about the selfie. It's all about
the me, I've looked through it, I've seen it. It's all pictures about you. He is a reality television star. Is this to be expected?
CUMMING: No, I don't think. Of course, we've known Donald Trump for a while. He's not popped out of nowhere. So I don't think that -- I think,
you know, we get what we deserve in elections.
My personal understanding of that is the lack of value that America puts on education. And so we have a generation that isn't very educated. It does
not analyze the news as infotainment, instead of facts. And so, and it's much more predispose to be duped by sound bites and jingoism.
But at the same time, if I may say, that's also a huge fault of the media, the political media for not taking sides, for not properly investigating
and doing their job.
AMANPOUR: There are obviously some fantastic exceptions. The "Washington Post" has distinguished itself from the very beginning holding him and all
the other candidates accountable.
AMANPOUR: The basic duty of journalists.
CUMMING: That and entertaining the minority. And also the other thing is, who is reading the "Washington Post"? A very, very small percentage of the
AMANPOUR: What about when you were playing Eli Gold in this runaway success "The Good Wife?" I mean, you were -- you had a heart, but very
cynical, hard-bitten, political adviser.
I mean, people are very cynical about politics. And so when they see an adviser like Eli Gold, you know, doing all sorts of nefarious things, they
may confuse that with reality, and may not think that politics is aspirational anymore.
CUMMING: Well, I think, they're right. Chicago itself is a whole other world. And that's obviously where the bulk of the Democratic headquarters
are, and where so much of the Democratic ethos comes from. And it's a very, very corrupt time politically. And they wear the corruptness on
their sleeves as a badge of honor. It's not something that's hidden.
I can't remember the exact date. It's something like four out of the last six governors of Illinois have gone to prison. I mean, that's terrible.
And so there's a whole suede of corruption and criminality that's attached to politics in America. That doesn't seem to be a problem for most people.
AMANPOUR: But I did want to ask you about this. Because you've got to get bigger dreams kind of plays into what we're talking about. Tell me about
the title. It's an encounter with Oprah Winfrey, right?
CUMMING: Yes. The book is a book of stories and photographs of moments in my life, and I tried to stand back from my life in a way because I'm an
outsider in America. I'm an outsider in Scotland as well. I think it's quite a healthy place to be able to stand back and allow other people to
look into it and have the same sort of look at it in the same way.
But Oprah -- so Oprah said that line, because my friend Eddie is obsessed with Oprah. And I was being invited to a big gala that she was being
honored at. And he really wants a photograph of her, of course.
Here's the photo I take.
AMANPOUR: Here it is.
CUMMING: Oprah started to come towards us. (INAUDIBLE) and after the break, Oprah. And she started to walk towards us. And I was -- I had been
zooming in on her. So I was zooming out. And I could see she was going to come right past us because we were sitting there --
AMANPOUR: And you were going to miss your shot.
CUMMING: Yes. But we were going to be right beside and she was coming (INAUDIBLE). So she came right by. And I was still un-zooming. And I had
Eddie go, Oprah. He's got like a squeaky voice.
Oprah, may I have a photo with you? It would be my dream.
And Oprah just went, you've got to get bigger dreams.
AMANPOUR: And marched off?
CUMMING: No, I took the photo, boom, marched off. And I thought, that's the photo you see. It's kind of -- I thought, oh my goodness, what a
terrible picture, but I think it's perfect.
AMANPOUR: Your last book "Not My Father's Son" was very dramatic and spoke of a very, very tough childhood.
AMANPOUR: Tell me a little bit about that. And particularly the relationship between you and your father, which was abusive.
[23:20:00] CUMMING: Yes, my father was very abusive, very violent, physically and mentally abusive. And we lived in a very remote area of
east coast of Scotland. And to my brother as well, he did those things. And it was just really tough. And I'd never let anyone come right to the
house. I don't in case my father was out and around. Because, you know, it's the thing about when you're abused, you protect the abuser. If the
abuser is good at his job, it's a common thing that the abusee protects.
Embarrassed, of course, and humiliated but also wants to protect him because it will wash to them if they find out. So I would always make sure
that my -- I would always get dropped off a little bit away from my house.
It's been interesting writing this book and it also did something because when I'm on a book tour again and people come up to me and tell me things,
you know, from my past. It's actually a great way to engage in public.
AMANPOUR: Yes. What I was going to say exactly. People sometimes need larger than life characters like yourself to make it OK.
AMANPOUR: To talk about it and to seek help.
CUMMING: I mean, this book has been amazing. I didn't really bargain on it at all, perhaps rather naively.
But the number of people that have come up to me and say, you know, I had a similar thing. And you've been able to make me talk to my family, or you
know, you gave me confidence to do it. That's been an incredibly moving and a surprising part of this process.
AMANPOUR: And "Not Your Father's Son." Was he not your father? I know your brother called you and said this. He said that you weren't
CUMMING: Yes. I was about to do that (INAUDIBLE) show, and my dad thought that something was going to come out in the course of the show. And so he
told me by my brother that I wasn't his biological son.
I was taking a DNA test because I wanted to make sure that my father was not just as he turned out to be, crazy, and had made this all up. So I was
AMANPOUR: You were?
CUMMING: I took the test.
AMANPOUR: You are.
CUMMING: So it was in that time I was really happy because I want to be his son. My brother was like, oh, you're lucky. And then when I did get
the DNA results and I discovered that he was lying, and I could tell him, I was so furious.
And, also, I thought I'm dealing with an irrational man, who was -- and his -- imagine all his life, or from a certain point in my early life, he has
made his truth that he did not father me. How do you deal with that? How do you get to that? There's no sense of logic.
There's no -- you know, after talking to other people, I realized that he had some form of mental illness. Certainly many personality disorders. A
little bit like Donald Trump, actually. And I sort of made peace with that. I'm not going to get any -- any he died. But I'm not going to get
any rationale from someone who is so irrational.
AMANPOUR: Really important lesson. It's great that you wrote it.
CUMMING: You've got to let go. But I do think Donald Trump is mentally ill. Getting back to that, Christiane. I really -- I do think -- I mean,
various things about different personality disorders, which he obviously has narcissism being an icon.
AMANPOUR: Well, his biographer says that he's very narcissistic.
CUMMING: I think it's beyond that. There's definitely certain conditions like his absolute inability to take responsibility, or to understand why
his lack of empathy might affect anyone around him are classic personality disorder traits.
AMANPOUR: Alan Cumming, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
CUMMING: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And now, from a weird world to a surreal presidential portrait. This official painting of the outgoing Estonian President Toomas Hendrik
Ilves was unveiled today, playing up his signature bow tie.
It is sure to be a unique entry in Estonia's collection of presidential portraits, and talking of one offs, the country's new president will for
the first time be a woman.
And speaking of first-time women, we go to Somalia next where Fadumo Dayib touches down to blast off with her bid of the presidency there. Imagining
that after this.
[23:26:05] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, another presidential race, another world away. You may remember our guest here on set last month,
Fadumo Dayib, the Somali refugee with the extraordinary and compelling life story.
Elect to flee her war-torn homeland, she was born into displacement and ended up in Finland. She has finally learned to read and write there at
the age of 14.
She's been a model, a nurse, and she's pursued several university degrees, making up for lost time. But now she's pursuing an even harder path, all
the way to the presidency back in Somalia where she was born. She says she's doing it for her country folk and for her four young children who
she's leaving behind while she campaigns. That's her hardest task, she said, on a dangerous road ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FADUMO DAYIB, SOMALIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Security is a big issue particularly because of Al Shabaab and other unruly elements inside the
country. But I want for people to understand that we will no longer be intimidated, silenced, oppressed. We are here. We are not negotiating for
our existence and we will make sure that Somalia becomes a peaceful country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Her chances of winning are low and the risks are great. She's already received death threats from warlords and extremists, and she said
the president of the country is backtracking on his promise for a fully free and fair democratic transition of power.
For Somalia's sake and for future generations there, we wish her safe campaign as she dares to enter the political ring.
That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.